Water Stewardship

Water Stewardship

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Our work on water stewardship primarily focuses on addressing corporate water risk throughout agricultural supply chains. We lead engagements with ADM, Tyson, Hormel, and Hershey on water. Tri-CRI also supports an engagement with Chevron on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).  Through these engagements, Tri-State CRI members have advocated for improved corporate water disclosure and risk management, including water risk mapping, developing and implementing Human Right to Water policies, establishing water use reduction goals, and adopting comprehensive water stewardship plans to address water pollution.

Tri-State CRI engagement has led to a wide range of successes related to water. For example, following a resolution asking Hormel Foods to develop and implement a comprehensive water stewardship policy, the company adopted a Sustainable Agriculture Policy that addresses water quality and quantity and applies to operations and the supply chain. Proponents continue to press the company for meaningful implementation of the policy. Shareholder engagements focused on increasing public disclosure on water stewardship have also been successful. Tri-State CRI engagements with Tyson and ADM prompted both corporations to begin reporting to CDP Water on their water risk management. Lastly, member engagement with Campbell’s helped the company position itself as a global leader on water sustainability, especially with its commitment to respect the Human Right to Water.

Tri-State CRI strives to raise awareness among corporations and shareholders about the increasing scarcity of water resources, to ensure that corporations take responsible actions to limit and restrict the pollution and overuse of water, and to address issues of control and privatization.

Resources:

ICCR’s Statement of Principles and Recommendations for Corporate Water Stewardship
ICCR: Framing the Dialogue on the Human Right to Water: Opportunities for Multi-stakeholder Collaboration
Toward Water Disclosure: Recommended Process Tools. 
CEO Water Mandate, Bringing a Human Rights Lens to Corporate Water Stewardship
Mystery Meat II: The Industry Behind the Quiet Destruction of the American Heartland, Mighty Earth

Hudson River Cleanup Engagement with General Electric

protest-GEFor over 40 years, General Electric disposed of at least 1.3 million pounds of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) into the Hudson River. GE plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, NY are also heavily contaminated with PCBs. The Environmental Protection Agency designated 200 miles of the Hudson River as a Superfund site in 1984. The plant sites are New York State Superfund sites. In February 1976, a state Department of Conservation Hearing Officer, in a case against GE, described GE’s actions as “corporate abuse” and found that the record “overwhelmingly” demonstrated that GE violated NY State law by discharging large quantities of PCBs into the Hudson River.

Since the mid-1990s, the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment has used its shareholder power to pressure GE to clean up the Hudson River. Despite the EPA’s decision calling for the removal of PCBs from the Hudson River, the cleanup only began in the spring of 2009. Our shareholder resolution, calling on the company to report its costs in legal and public relations fees related to delaying the cleanup, received the support of over 25% of GE shareholders in past years.

Hudson River Cleanup / GE Resources:

Chronology of GE Shareholder Resolutions
Costs of Delay Resolution
Statements of Cathy Rowan and Patricia Daly, OP
GE’s Report on PCB Expenditures, 1990-2005 and 1990-2006